NBN fibre-to-the-node launched: Now the long sprint begins

60,000 homes per month by January 2016, company says

The kinds of people that watch the weekly data releases about Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) will be watching like hawks between now and January.

Yesterday, the company officially launched its fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) product to retail service providers, and set itself the task of ramping up to 60,000 premises per month by January 2016.

That ambitious target is needed if NBN is to get anywhere near the kind of numbers the government will want ahead of the 2016 election year.

The ramp-up, it hopes, will yield around 500,000 FTTN connections by June 30, 2016, ramping up to more than 1.5 million additions for each of 2017 and 2018.

The other dependency is, of course, whether the FTTN will deliver the hoped-for “fibre-like” speeds. The company has been boosting its trial network in Belmont as delivering 100/40 Mbps down/up for users within 400 metres of their node.

Telstra, Optus, Optus Wholesale, Exetel, TPG (including its iiNet and AAPT brands), SkyMesh, Harbour ISP, and M2 Group have signed on for the service.

During the launch, chief architect Tony Cross said that “most” of the old copper network is going to get decommissioned during the rollout: “We're deploying fibre deep into the network to a node that's located close to the premises,” he said, and only using the “last part” of the copper to “transmit the remaining signal.”

The company also said it's still looking at the emerging G.Fast standard for the future. ®

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